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Location, location, location.

Location, location, location.

Old Jul 18th 2020, 12:32 pm
  #1  
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Default Location, location, location.

So we're at the early stages of drawing up a bit of a list of destinations (or areas) that we'd like to evaluate to eventually settle if we return to the UK in a couple years time. Some back background:
  • I grew up in North Wales (Rhyl area), lived in Leeds and Liverpool as a student, wife spent a year in Leeds as a student. Would like to find somewhere 'new' to both of us.
  • Ideally like somewhere close to great hiking and/or beaches - an hour or so drive at most but ideally walkable from where we live.
  • We like to be close to a medium sized town for amenities but live about 5 miles or so out with good public transport link to said town
  • Probably looking at a flat so we can shut the door and go on holidays without any worries (though I think once our world tour ends after a couple years we may fancy a small house/bungalow)
  • Open to renting at least until we are sure of where we want to stay.
  • Walkable and cycle friendly
  • Don't care too much about employment as we'll be retired

So with that list here is what we have so far, some of these places we've never visited but they make 'good places to live' lists we've read or they are close to the outdoor activities we're targeting. So with that in mind any inside information on these town/locations from the knowledgeable people here, any new locations to steer us towards?
  1. Aberystwyth
  2. Swansea
  3. Harrogate
  4. Durham
  5. Edinburgh
  6. Buxton
  7. Exeter
  8. Bath

Thanks in advance for any replies!
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Old Jul 18th 2020, 2:13 pm
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Default Re: Location, location, location.

I grew up 12 miles outside of Durham and it is still one of my favorite places to visit. We live about an hour’s drive away from both Durham and Harrogate, in N. Yorkshire which is another area I’d recommend given your listed criteria. We live on the edge of N York’s Moors National Park which has some of the best beaches and highest cliffs in the country.
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Old Jul 20th 2020, 1:23 am
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Default Re: Location, location, location.

Originally Posted by GOALFIRE View Post
So we're at the early stages of drawing up a bit of a list of destinations (or areas) that we'd like to evaluate to eventually settle if we return to the UK in a couple years time. Some back background:
  • I grew up in North Wales (Rhyl area), lived in Leeds and Liverpool as a student, wife spent a year in Leeds as a student. Would like to find somewhere 'new' to both of us.
  • Ideally like somewhere close to great hiking and/or beaches - an hour or so drive at most but ideally walkable from where we live.
  • We like to be close to a medium sized town for amenities but live about 5 miles or so out with good public transport link to said town
  • Probably looking at a flat so we can shut the door and go on holidays without any worries (though I think once our world tour ends after a couple years we may fancy a small house/bungalow)
  • Open to renting at least until we are sure of where we want to stay.
  • Walkable and cycle friendly
  • Don't care too much about employment as we'll be retired

So with that list here is what we have so far, some of these places we've never visited but they make 'good places to live' lists we've read or they are close to the outdoor activities we're targeting. So with that in mind any inside information on these town/locations from the knowledgeable people here, any new locations to steer us towards?
  1. Aberystwyth
  2. Swansea
  3. Harrogate
  4. Durham
  5. Edinburgh
  6. Buxton
  7. Exeter
  8. Bath

Thanks in advance for any replies!
I've provided my comments on Edinburgh in another thread recently, so won't repeat here. I also worked as a consultant and stayed in Durham for about a year and traveled back to Edinburgh on the weekends. It is a beautiful, beautiful, city. Finally, my husband owned a house in Harrogate and I spent a bit of time there before we sold it. It is also a very nice place. As they all are beautiful and offer what you seek in terms of proximity to hiking, perhaps an Airbnb in each for a few weeks might help.
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Old Jul 20th 2020, 5:00 am
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Default Re: Location, location, location.

Is the weather a factor?
If so, can I suggest you Google “Met Office location comparison”. There’s this great site where you type in two place names and then compare them in terms of annual rainfall, annual sunshine hours, etc.

Do do please let us know where you finally decide. We too are looking for a lock-up-and-leave near the sea. But we’re planning to keep a small holiday flat in southern France so are thinking proximity to the Channel ports would save us some driving. Plus they seem to get quite a lot of sun down there.
Hastings area? St Leonard’s? Eastbourne? Good walking on the Downs.
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Old Jul 20th 2020, 10:13 am
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Default Re: Location, location, location.

Originally Posted by Helen1964 View Post
Is the weather a factor?
If so, can I suggest you Google “Met Office location comparison”. There’s this great site where you type in two place names and then compare them in terms of annual rainfall, annual sunshine hours, etc.

Do do please let us know where you finally decide. We too are looking for a lock-up-and-leave near the sea. But we’re planning to keep a small holiday flat in southern France so are thinking proximity to the Channel ports would save us some driving. Plus they seem to get quite a lot of sun down there.
Hastings area? St Leonard’s? Eastbourne? Good walking on the Downs.
Thanks for the tip! The weather would certainly be a factor on the decision so it'll be great to compare each one (or others we consider).
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Old Jul 20th 2020, 10:15 am
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Default Re: Location, location, location.

Originally Posted by jenninedinburgh View Post
.....perhaps an Airbnb in each for a few weeks might help.
Yes, I think a longer say in each is a great idea and definitely something we are considering.
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Old Jul 20th 2020, 11:10 am
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Default Re: Location, location, location.

Originally Posted by Helen1964 View Post
Is the weather a factor?
But we’re planning to keep a small holiday flat in southern France so are thinking proximity to the Channel ports would save us some driving.
How did you find your holiday flat in France? We are thinking of buying one (maybe Spain, France or Portugal) and then also moving back to the UK for work in the next few years. I had not considered relocating to the south of the UK and then driving to the flat. That seems like a very good option - especially with outbreaks as we have them now. Of course there is still Brexit lingering, so we will have to see how that impacts any holiday flat options.
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Old Jul 20th 2020, 11:56 am
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Default Re: Location, location, location.

Originally Posted by GOALFIRE View Post
So we're at the early stages of drawing up a bit of a list of destinations (or areas) that we'd like to evaluate to eventually settle if we return to the UK in a couple years time. Some back background:
  • I grew up in North Wales (Rhyl area), lived in Leeds and Liverpool as a student, wife spent a year in Leeds as a student. Would like to find somewhere 'new' to both of us.
  • Ideally like somewhere close to great hiking and/or beaches - an hour or so drive at most but ideally walkable from where we live.
  • We like to be close to a medium sized town for amenities but live about 5 miles or so out with good public transport link to said town
  • Probably looking at a flat so we can shut the door and go on holidays without any worries (though I think once our world tour ends after a couple years we may fancy a small house/bungalow)
  • Open to renting at least until we are sure of where we want to stay.
  • Walkable and cycle friendly
  • Don't care too much about employment as we'll be retired

So with that list here is what we have so far, some of these places we've never visited but they make 'good places to live' lists we've read or they are close to the outdoor activities we're targeting. So with that in mind any inside information on these town/locations from the knowledgeable people here, any new locations to steer us towards?
  1. Aberystwyth
  2. Swansea
  3. Harrogate
  4. Durham
  5. Edinburgh
  6. Buxton
  7. Exeter
  8. Bath

Thanks in advance for any replies!
For 1. also consider the Dyfi estuary Aberdovey, and Machynlleth plus Tywyn - be aware the area is Welsh-speaking.
For 2. also Carmarthen and The Gower, also Vale of Glamorgan south of Cowbridge, St Hilary area with good access to Cardiff.
For 7. also Topsham, Lympstone and Exmouth
For 8. also Bradford-on-Avon and Widcombe side of Bath

also Tetbury and Malmesbury

Coastal? Maybe Lewes area but Lewes is likely to be EVEN more popular now with work-from-homers? Eastbourne is good.

Best climate? on the Channel towards Dorset - for us Weymouth was ideal as very mild and cooled in the Summer BUT you need to know decent areas to live - there are some lovely ones. Poole and Portsmouth are best ferry gateways.

Plymouth area IF you want to put the car on the ferry to Santander in Spain for access to the Pyrenees area and onwards.

Plymouth also has overnight ferry to Roscoff in Brittany for onwards. If Plymouth area, somewhere around Totnes, Stoke Gabriel would be nice.
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Old Jul 20th 2020, 2:29 pm
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Default Re: Location, location, location.

We haven't bought the small holiday flat yet. Right now, we own a fairly large flat in Strasbourg, which we will sell before leaving France.
We'll use the next couple of years to find a much smaller one down south. Probably near Perpignan, for the sea and the mountains. Cheaper than the Riviera and a bit less crowded.

Will keep you posted!
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Old Jul 20th 2020, 2:33 pm
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Default Re: Location, location, location.

Pistolpete2

What's Exmouth like? The only 2 people I know who have actually been there both said they didn't like it, for reasons they couldn't explain.

On paper, it sounds very appealing - being a decent sized town on the coast with a beach, and only a short train ride from Exeter.

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Old Jul 20th 2020, 2:45 pm
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Default Re: Location, location, location.

Originally Posted by Helen1964 View Post

Probably near Perpignan, for the sea and the mountains. Cheaper than the Riviera and a bit less crowded.

Will keep you posted!
That's a nice area. Also close to Spain for a train ride south for tapas Look forward to your updates.
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Old Jul 20th 2020, 3:10 pm
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Default Re: Location, location, location.

Originally Posted by Helen1964 View Post
Pistolpete2

What's Exmouth like? The only 2 people I know who have actually been there both said they didn't like it, for reasons they couldn't explain.

On paper, it sounds very appealing - being a decent sized town on the coast with a beach, and only a short train ride from Exeter.
Exmouth is ok! There are some decent places to eat and hang-out at - some stunners such as Saveur and I see there is now a Rockfish (I like the one in Weymouth). It has an attractive new Marina area - modern architectural design. A couple of decent shops and a good fishmonger in with a fairly typical run-down retail scene these days.

Locals are fairly conservative - they like it the way it is and see no reason to plant theme parks and other attractions in its midst to attract more incomers. Not sure that approach is all bad. It doesn't want to compete with more easterly spots like Seaton and Budleigh Salterton.

Beautiful location on the Exe estuary. Good transport links to Exeter.

Better than the average seaside town. However is a completely different animal to Topsham and little Lympstone.

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Old Jul 20th 2020, 5:32 pm
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Default Re: Location, location, location.

My daughter spent a year at uni in Aberystwyth and we all liked the town and surrounding areas. The big disadvantage, of course, or advantage from some view points, is its remote location and lack of accessibility to the rest of the country. Some of the other suggestions may be better from that POV but probably more expensive too.
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Old Jul 21st 2020, 4:20 am
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Default Re: Location, location, location.

OK, that’s good to know. I reckon for us it’ll be a toss-up between Plymouth, Exmouth and Eastbourne.
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Old Jul 21st 2020, 8:09 am
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Default Re: Location, location, location.

Originally Posted by Pistolpete2 View Post
For 1. also consider the Dyfi estuary Aberdovey, and Machynlleth plus Tywyn - be aware the area is Welsh-speaking.
For 2. also Carmarthen and The Gower, also Vale of Glamorgan south of Cowbridge, St Hilary area with good access to Cardiff.
For 7. also Topsham, Lympstone and Exmouth
For 8. also Bradford-on-Avon and Widcombe side of Bath

also Tetbury and Malmesbury

Coastal? Maybe Lewes area but Lewes is likely to be EVEN more popular now with work-from-homers? Eastbourne is good.

Best climate? on the Channel towards Dorset - for us Weymouth was ideal as very mild and cooled in the Summer BUT you need to know decent areas to live - there are some lovely ones. Poole and Portsmouth are best ferry gateways.

Plymouth area IF you want to put the car on the ferry to Santander in Spain for access to the Pyrenees area and onwards.

Plymouth also has overnight ferry to Roscoff in Brittany for onwards. If Plymouth area, somewhere around Totnes, Stoke Gabriel would be nice.
Speaking about ferry, I'm always surprised how expensive the ferry from Plymouth to Santander is and one of the reasons I never went that way.
We have a direct ferry to Bilbao from Ireland now but it's only the economie one and takes far too long, so I usually end up going via Cork-Roscoff which saves time and money, since I always drive via Perpignan to Spain.
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